ABOUT A MYSTERIOUS PAST…
FULL OF FORBIDDEN DANGERS……
AND SHOCKING BETRAYALS………………….
Are you intrigued???
This is yet another pet peeve of mine when it comes to back-of-book summaries. Last month I vented about blurbs that describe women as beautiful and nothing else (“Excuse me, my characterization is UP HERE”) so today I wanted to groan about vague and overused plot descriptions.
I don’t have enough fingers or toes or abacuses on which to count how many times I’ve seen these painfully generic blurbs! And it’s almost always those exact phrases too. Dark secret. Mysterious past. Forbidden something-or-other. Sometimes they’re swapped around a little: Forbidden secret. Dark past. Etc etc.
What I’m assuming the author/publisher is hoping for is that these generalities will conjure an air of ~mystique~ which will prompt readers to open the book and find out what the Big Darkity Dark Secret is. But because they’re used SO OFTEN, they end up just sounding empty.
I don’t know about you, but I need specifics. I need something concrete for my mind to latch onto and go, “Oooh, that’s interesting.” Without specifics, it just sounds like every other book out there.
“But telling the secret on the back cover will spoil the story!”
True, it’ll take some crafty finagling. But I’m positive there are hints you could drop that are tangible enough to illicit curiosity, without spoiling the whole shebang. That finagling is worth the extra work, because otherwise your story might not get read at all, which would be such a shame.
Or maybe I’m the only one bothered by this. Am I? I would think this would frustrate most readers, but still I see these vague descriptions allllllllllll the time.
What do you guys think?